The WAFAW ERC programme was officially launched in Amman on the 5th and 6th of October, 2013. This kick-off meeting organised by François Burgat, PI of WAFAW, and the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) in Jordan gathered together the team of ten core-researchers along with administative and institutional partners.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of the programme and of its administrative requirements. Juliette Espié, in charge of European projects at the CNRS regional delegation in Marseille, presented the rationale of the financial and scientific monitoring. Training on ethical issues, on data security and on open access publications was provided by Laurent Bonnefoy, deputy principal investigator of WAFAW, Arnaud Cruzel, IT resource manager at IFPO, Bruno Dewailly, researcher, and Yves Gonzalez-Quijano, member of the WAFAW core-research team. Karima Dirèche, director of the IRMC (Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain) in Tunis and Eberhard Kienle, director of the IFPO, explained what support their institutes could provide for the WAFAW team on their various fields of intervention.
The second day provided opportunity for all WAFAW team members to briefly present their updated scientific projects. Internal discussion helped trace sub-study groups that will structure the WAFAW programme during the four coming years: 1) repolarizations of the Arab political fields, 2) new media and politics, 3) Arab diasporas and the homeland, 4) Social issues, the state and mobilization.
Finally, following the call for applications for the post-doctoral and doctoral WAFAW fellowships and the audition on September, 30 in Aix en Provence, of the 15 best ranking candidates out of a total of 40 application files received,, the fellowships were definitely attributed by the entire team . Three post-doctoral fellows along with one doctoral student will join the WAFAW team in January 2014.